Six COMESA States Take Steps to Access Climate Change Funds  

Lusaka, Monday, October 21, 2019: Many African countries are lagging in accessing climate finance to operationalize their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which are commitments made by each country to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and adapt to the impacts of climate change in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

According to the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank estimates, as much as $23 trillion in climate smart investment is required in emerging economies to implement the NDCs. Hence countries need to mobilize significant levels of resources including private sector investments.

Attracting this scale of investment at the speed needed to meet NDC targets requires the appropriate incentives and financial instruments to support project development and implementation, expansion of market demand for green products and services.

Cognizant of this, COMESA has the mandate to help its Member States, access the climate financing to operationalize their NDCs. This is being done through successive practice-oriented regional workshops to build the capacity of the Member States National Designated Authorities in project development and investment mobilization.

Last week, 16-18 October 2019 in Lusaka, Zambia, six countries including Comoros, Eswatini, Madagascar, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe participated in the ‘Regional Workshop on NDC Project Development and Investment Mobilization.” Its overarching objective was to come up with a framework for development of bankable proposals, based on each country’s NDC priority list, for submission to potential funders.

“We want to ensure that our Member States’ capacity to develop bankable project proposals is enhanced and the challenges in accessing climate finance are identified and addressed,” said the COMESA Climate Change Advisor Dr Mclay Kanyangarara.

He observed that at the design stage, the NDCs were linked to the national development plans and strategies. Hence, mobilizing climate finance and implementation pf NDCs will lead to attainment of socioeconomic development goals of the Member States.

“During the design stage of their NDC’s, African governments incorporated two targets: an unconditional target that will be met by African countries with their own resources (15%), and a conditional target, subject to financial support from the international community (85%),” Dr Kanyangarara noted.

However, in mapping current commitments, he said, there is no distinction between these targets.

“Without making this distinction and mobilizing the resources to enable African countries to achieve both targets, there is a risk of not achieving the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature rise to less than 2oC by the turn of the century,” he cautioned.

During the three days’ workshop that closed on Friday, October 18, 2019, participants went through practical steps required for identifying sources of public and private climate finance and securing access to them.

Experience sharing and collaboration between participants from different Member States were conducted to identify good regional best practices for accessing green/climate funds including unlocking/stimulating private sector investment.

Officials from ministries in charge of finance and national development planning, as well as representatives of National Designated Authorities for the Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) focal points attended the workshop.

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